Should you wear a mask while driving?

Covid-19 is still a major concern and is expected to remain a threat for a while. Since this isn’t a time to slip on safety precautions, most people are still wearing a mask to protect themselves and others. Whether it’s a surgical mask, DIY mask, or an N95 mask covering your nose and mouth is critical when you’re out in public. While most people understand the necessity of wearing a mask while in public, some people question what “public” actually means. 

Back in April of this year, a New Jersey woman crashed into a power pole while driving. The driver had no influence of alcohol or drugs in her system before that. And it’s believed that she passed out due to driving while wearing her N95 mask for too long. The N95 mask resulted in insufficient oxygen intake and excessive carbon dioxide intake. The New Jersey driver had been wearing the mask for several hours outside of her vehicle before driving in Lincoln Park. This left many wondering how necessary is it to wear a mask while driving? 

Covid-19 is said to be spread by eyes, nose, and mouth. Virus filled droplets can even travel through the air. The droplets can be propelled up to 6 feet by coughing, sneezing, and breathing. Whether you should wear the mask in your car depends on who you are around and how exposed you are. If you are driving alone and are in generally healthy condition, there isn’t a real need to wear a mask while driving. If you have passengers who are healthy members of the same household that hasn’t been exposed, a mask isn’t necessary. However, if you’re using a ride-sharing app, whether you are the driver or the passenger, you should wear a mask. If you are driving a passenger who has been exposed or isn’t a part of your household, you may want to consider wearing a mask. 

Any aspects that have you interacting with the public should be met with wearing a mask. Your car is generally safe if it’s just you or household members. The virus isn’t able to penetrate your AC filter, as it blocks the droplets and pollutants. If there are any vital questions or concerns, it’s advised to consult the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for advice or recommendations.

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